Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-08-2016, 02:08   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 94
Dumb Headsail question

My wife and I have bought a Cavalier 39 here in New Zealand as our first Keller. We've come from a background of sailing a 22 ft trailer yacht extensively after childhood of dinghy sailing but the step up to kneeler is a bit of a start over.
Now we have a big Diesel engine, head, tanks, galley, anti fouling, etc etc...
One thing I'm adjusting to is the difference between the sail set up. The main was our primary on the old Noelex 22 with jib and spinnaker... But now we have a huge furling headsail which is more powerful than the main on the Cav 39.
We have only had the yacht out once for a sail in light winds but we're planning a few weeks sailing Dec and Jan in NZ (our summer vacation time)
The wind died and we motored home on our one and only trip and the main wasn't used. ( Sails were all inspected as part of survey). The previous owners who were elderly rarely used the main.

So now Do I need to adjust thinking to the main being the secondary sail... And what conditions are likely to justify raising it?
Can someone give me an indication as to how I should be thinking about this... I know it's a bit silly, but I was a pretty competent skipper of the old Noelex and now I'm having to relearn my approach.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
nzmal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 04:52   #2
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 4,908
Re: Dumb Headsail question

It looks as if your boat probably gets most of her drive from the headsail. But that doesn't mean that you wont have the main up as well 99% of the time. Though you're going to have to adjust to reefing both sails. Especially in order to maintain proper helm balance.

Though there's little about here that's different tnough from your other boat to cause worry. The biggest thing is that you have to plan/think things through a bit further ahead of time is all. Other than that, picking up or downloading a tuning guide won't hurt. Plus "the usual", bribe a racer (with beer) for some help in learning her finer points.

PS: The above is assuming that I have the correct boat http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=6692
__________________

__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 05:05   #3
Registered User
 
ozskipper's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NSW Australia
Boat: Traditional 30
Posts: 1,981
Re: Dumb Headsail question

You may find that that is just the sails that are "on" now. Its quite normal for a keelboat to have several headsails. Eg a One, Two and Three. (and even more).
You may find that you currently have the number one (biggest) on the furler. Its not a sail you would want to use in heavy weather. A better, lazymans, alternative may be to use the number Two and add remove reefs to the main if you dont want to constantly do sail changes on the foredeck.
__________________
Cheers
Oz
...............
ozskipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 05:13   #4
Registered User
 
Snowpetrel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hobart
Boat: Alloy Peterson 40
Posts: 2,900
Re: Dumb Headsail question

Nice boats, those Cav 39's, congratulations.

Even though the main is smaller than a big genoa it is still a critical sail, for most wind angles except downwind.

With the wind forward of the beam the main balances the boat. Without it speed might be similar but you will be more likely to have erratic steering in gusty conditions. The main can easily be fine tuned to adjust balance, reducing the need for big rudder movements.

For me, on any boat the main generally is the first sail up and the last down. Occasionally if my course is downwind I might just unroll the headsail, but normally I use both sails together.

Basically treat it the same as the noelex 25 for starter, but you will probably find she doesn't sail very well under main alone like the fractional boat might have. The big headsail can be a pain to tack. For close quarters manuvering under sail I use the full main and often roll half the genoa away. This reduces speed, but enables me to back the headsail to push the bow around and improves visibility.

Generally I would reef the main first, then take a few rolls out of the genoa, then reef the main again. But sometimes reaching you can leave more headsail out and deep reef the main.

Downwind you can sheet the genoa off the end of the mainboom and drop the main. Sometimes I will run just with a preventered main and no headsails. No as nice steering wise but its versitile if the wind shifts and saves having the genoa backwinds behind the main. On long downwind legs poling the genoa out to windward works very well.
__________________
My Ramblings
Snowpetrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 05:36   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2014
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 45
Posts: 172
Re: Dumb Headsail question

I was taught that the sails work together. The air coming off the back of the headsail helps accelerate the air just below the main. This slot helps the efficiency of the main. So, besides balancing the boat / rudder, you are better off with both sails up rather than one, even if both are reefed.
__________________
SteveInMD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 11:22   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 94
Re: Dumb Headsail question

Thanks everyone. Yes Uncivilised. .The link is the correct boat.
Ozskipper: There
Is also a smaller inner stay that can be fitted in cutter style with a smaller headsail but it is currently not set up presumably because of interference with tacking the main headsail.
Snowpetrel: Thanks for the affirmation. She's older that we expected to buy but well kept. The main is a furler too. But furls around the boom, although I can't see any reason why it can't be slab reefed.
Thanks

Sent from my GT-I9506 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
nzmal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 11:35   #7
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,825
Images: 25
Re: Dumb Headsail question

Yes, Mal, you will find differences.

On boats with a big main you reef it first. On a cruising boat with a big gena you can reef that first for your 3 marked reefs then the main. Then keep rolling the genoa untill you do a second reef in the main.

Some will tell you that a reefed genoa wont sit right, but i have found modern genoas are just fine.

Also, if you are just out for a bumble round the harbour you can use the genoa alone. Unless you are doing a serious dig upwind its fine.

Going from a 22ft trailer-sailer to a 39 ft boat will seem like a horror movie, but it will all come second nature quickly so don't fret its 'too big'



Mark
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 11:54   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 18,720
Re: Dumb Headsail question

To me the main is always the "main" sail. Then choice of headsail. The main always goes up first unless you are running downwind lazily and just unfurl the headsail to do so.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 13:57   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 666
Re: Dumb Headsail question

I have read that you should consider the driving sail differently if the setup is masthead or fractional headsail. On our slightly smaller boat, we run with a 150% furling genoa that has a bit of padding near the luff. It behaves well when we furl it. We often use only the genoa if the wind is aft of the beam but for windward sailing the mainsail/ headsail combination works a treat. They really do seem to work off each other and improve speed and sailability. For cruising, furling sails are fine. We have an in mast furler and I can deploy the main in 15 seconds from the cockpit single handed. Reefing is ok too as long as you reduce the pressure on the main. Yes we have had jams, but they are more to do with ignorance than sail design and yes I only get 7.2 knots instead of 7.4
__________________
dlymn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 15:52   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 16,821
Re: Dumb Headsail question

In our boat that is perhaps 50/50 main/genoa ratio, I still tend to imagine the main as our main driving force. This is obviously so broad reaching and running. Upwind the genoa seems to be doing at least 50% of the work though.

I almost always reef the genoa up first - because it furls in, or away, in seconds. I only reef the main if I expect the conditions to last.

So, yes, it is mentally and operationally different from a boat that has a big main and a small fractional jib.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 18:08   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 5,810
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Dumb Headsail question

If the boat is the old style wrap around the boom roller reefing, rig the boom for slab reefing. That old style roller reefing is garbage to use as intended Just doesn't make for good reefed sail and is slow to use to boot.

Sail plan looks like the classic IOR design with large headsail and short footed main. These boats rely on the headsail for most of the drive but doesn't mean that the main isn't useful. The slot between the main sets up a venturi effect making both sails more efficient and balances the forces on the sails for a better helm. These boats aren't the best performers on a beam reach because of the small main. They need to get the spinnaker up quickly or point higher. Not a serious problem as a cruiser as you can live with the less than optimum sailing performance as she'll probably still sail fast just not as fast as a similar rated boat with a larger main. We're talking racing nit picking here.

Really like the design of these boats for cruising. The prop in the skeg protects it from trap pennants and other junk you may run into. The keel is long enough to balance the boat if you ever want to dry it out.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 20:05   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,666
Re: Dumb Headsail question

Some excellent comments above. I just want to point out that your question is anything but dumb. Everyone has to deal with your issue at some point and many times thereafter.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2016, 22:58   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 94
Re: Dumb Headsail question

Thanks everyone. Some very helpful and kind comments.

Sent from my GT-I9506 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
nzmal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2016, 09:43   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 18,720
Re: Dumb Headsail question

The bottom line is put your main up and it will stabilize the boat instead of wallowing. Use of only the headsail or only the mainsail will leave without control at times.
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
head, sail

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dumb headsail question. Soybeans General Sailing Forum 12 18-08-2014 11:58
are "dumb" questions dumb, or ... sailorboy1 Our Community 27 20-11-2013 06:53
Dumb Cat Question #2 ssullivan Multihull Sailboats 13 05-02-2008 17:04
A simple, dumb question. Gator81 Multihull Sailboats 2 23-01-2007 12:58
Dumb Question maybe kcrompton General Sailing Forum 4 29-12-2004 12:52


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:50.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.